Hurricane Michael

Valerie Crowder - WFSU News

Residents in Panama City are getting the chance to help shape how their hurricane-damaged town will look in the future. 

 

 

Welcome sign for Gulf Coast state college surrounded by green, round bushes
Gulf Coast State College

Gulf Coast State College is pressing forward despite suffering more than $50 million in damage from Hurricane Michael.

Marianna tree fallen hurricane michael
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Eight months after Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s panhandle, hurricane season has begun and it’s raising concerns for many people who are still struggling to recover. 

Downed trees and power lines stretch for miles in the panhandle. This photo was taken in Panama City on 10/12/2018.
Charley and Briney King

After several delays, congress has signed off on a long-awaited supplemental disaster spending bill. It provides funding for housing in areas hit by Hurricane Michael. Panama City manager Mark McQueen says housing recovery is the community’s number one priority.

After Hurricane Michael, Bay County is rushing to fill open positions. 

Jimmy Patronis speaks to a crowd
Lynne Sladky / AP

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is cheering the passage of the congressional disaster aid package. 

New Home Loan Progams for Hurricane Michael Relief

May 22, 2019

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation is backing two new home loan programs to help Hurricane Michael victims. 

mounds of broken trees line streets as utility trucks and workers work to restore power.
Gulf Power

Florida’s utility regulator has approved rate increases for Gulf Power customers. The money will go to reimburse the company for power restoration efforts following Hurricane Michael. 

Morgan Martin

Many Hurricane Michael victims are still feeling the effects of the storm.  It not only caused physical damage to the area, but has left scars on the hearts and minds of survivors. 

What remains of this home is a lonely, cream colored chair amid skeleton walls.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU TV

A housing crisis has emerged in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Now state and federal money is on the way to address it as local residents and leaders are growing anxious and frustrated. 

Damaged building at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Tyndall Air Force Base is still recovering from Hurricane Michael. Currently though as construction still takes place no new projects can be started until they receive more funds from the Congress. 

People gathered on a tarmac in front of a plane, with it's stairs down.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU News

President Donald Trump came to Panama City Beach Wednesday. In his campaign rally he promised $448 million in housing funds for the area, which continues struggling seven months after Hurricane Michael hit North Florida.

Hurricane Michael Debris marianna
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is slated to get nearly 4 million dollars from the federal government to help cover costs of debris removal following Hurricane Michael.

Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

North Florida hasn’t gotten much help from outside sources following October's Category 5 Hurricane Michael. Keiser University made donations to the panhandle area, State and local officials used an event marking a $50,000 donation from Keiser University to continue drawing attention to the area's need for more financial assistance.

President Donald Trump’s is planning a campaign visit to Panama City. The Panama City News Herald reports emails show the city recently signed off on the event.  It will be the President’s first time in the area following a tour of the damage after Hurricane Michael. 

Hurricane Michael Upgraded To Category 5 Storm

Apr 19, 2019
This antique store in Blountstown was severely damaged by Hurricane Michael. (October 2018)
Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a Category Five storm and is one of the strongest to strike the United States. 

 Mark Ward surveys the destruction of his neighbor's mobile home in Bay County, Fla. Ward and his neighbors say that the rural parts of the county have seen little help since Hurricane Michael.
Tamara Lush / Associated Press

  April marks six months after Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc in the Florida panhandle and half a year later, Panama City and Mexico Beach are still in shambles.  On the six-month anniversary of the storm, more than 70 organizations came together to host a "Pray for Bay" event meant to unify the community and provide outreach. 

Hemp Florida
Eric Risberg / AP

A state Senate panel approved a proposed bill that would legalize hemp products.

Cream Brick House rests on a lawn of green grass.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Housing is scarce and evictions in the Panhandle are on the rise, leaving many with nowhere to go.

An infographic showing the number of active wildfires in the state
Florida Forest Service

North Florida is facing an increased risk of wildfires after Hurricane Michael, and the first major one has broken out in Bay County.  The fire is 50 percent contained, but officials worry with all the downed trees on the ground, more frequent and severe wildfires could be on the way.

The irony, says Bay County Incident Commander Bryce Thomas, is that most of the debris on the ground will be gotten rid of through burning, "but it’s got to be burned correctly by professionals…people need to be so, so careful right now.” 

Nick Morrison / Unsplash

Lawmakers hope allowing state colleges impacted by Hurricane Michael to waive out of state tuition for 3 years will spur economic growth. 

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

The House Appropriations committee moved forward with their budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. But, Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Cutler Bay) doesn’t think North Florida is being treated fairly when it comes to Hurricane Recovery.

Eastpoint residents enjoy a barbeque at the Big Top Supermarket after Hurricane Michael (10/12/2018)
Ryan Dailey / WFSU News

State taxpayer money for Hurricane Michael relief in Florida's hard-hit Panhandle would top $1.8 billion under a budget plan outlined Thursday by Senate Republican leaders.

It’s been months since Hurricane Michael struck the Panhandle, carving a swath of damage from the Gulf to the Georgia state line. Recovery is expected to take years, even a decade or more and schools are feeling the pressure. Bay County Superintendent Bill Husfelt recently spoke before the State Board of Education, outlining some of the problems that have cropped up in the wake of the storm.

In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, Mark Ward surveys the destruction of his neighbor's mobile home in Bay County, Fla. Ward and his neighbors say that the rural parts of the county have seen little help since Hurricane Michael.
AP Photo / Tamara Lush

North Florida lawmakers are pushing a $315 million  Hurricane Michael recovery package. That’s in addition to the millions more in proposed recovery projects scattered across the counties hit by the storm. 

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